Seven Streets

 June 1, 2010         Leave a comment

I’ve happened an article on famous Liverpool streets, which appears to have been posed by some sort of online article bank (clever idea that – get other people to write article for you and monetise it).

Anyway, some of the answers are predictably hilarious. My favourite is:

Abbey Road cos it was on the cover of the Beatles album

There are plenty of more obvious one there, many of which have a personal resonance for me as I’ve lived in a couple of places that I’d deem fairly famous: Penny Lane, while a student, one of the best years of my life; Lark Lane, for the best part of a decade; and David Street in the Holy Land, that rather odd area in the Dingle (aren’t they all?) comprised of names from the Old Testament.

In the Dingle, of course, there are also Welsh streets, and several named after Dickens characters and novels, and some after Tennyson.

Back around Lark Lane there are the likes of Ivanhoe, Waverley, Mannering and Marmion, named after works by Sir Walter Scott.

Elsewhere there are Russian streets, giving us the wonderful Sputnik Drive. And elsewhere there are less outlandish byways like Seaman Road, which always makes me smirk.

There are thousands more with a story behind them, of course, mostly named after landowners, dockers, mayors or wealthy business types.

Some seem to have been named to be deliberately unpronounceable: Ranelagh, Eberle, Phythian.

Others have a story to tell: Commutation Row, Coal Street, Copperas Hill, Hackins Hey, Huskisson Street, Oil Street, Pilgrim Street, Rock Street

Liverpool has a story to tell through the names of its streets: of merchants and soldiers and slavers and blackguards.

It’s a story I’m increasingly drawn to; a rich and fertile place for an enquiring mind.

Someone recently told me that to understand the future, you had to understand the past. How did Liverpool get where it is today? What forces and trends and people formed the city we now live in? What’s gone on on the streets, above and below?

It’s a story for a different site, albeit one I also have a hand in. Seven Streets tells the story of the first seven streets in Liverpool, and what sprung from them over the next 800 years.

Those roads are still the centre of much that goes on in Liverpool, stretching from the business district across Liverpool One to the Ropewalks, arguably the city’s entertainment hub.

And from them sprung everything that is Liverpool today. Don’t worry, it’s not a website on topography. Well, not just topography. It’s about people, places and things.

And it’s not just me, there are a whole host of creatives with a hand in it, donating their content to a site without a financial imperative, so they’re free to celebrate the really interesting, weird, glorious stuff that happens in Liverpool.

The Culture Blog will tick over, mainly the stuff that’s not good enough to go on Seven Streets, so don’t delete that half-forgotten RSS feed yet.

Just redirect your nodes, and tell your friends. They’ll think it’s boss.

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